The Verdict
By: Nick Stone

Quick-take: This was a mildly entertaining overly complex crime thriller with no likable characters.

Dan's Review

Like most crime novels, each little piece can be considered an important piece. Therefore, Warning, very minor spoilers herein...

Terry traces the root of all his problems to his childhood friend Vernon James. Vernon accused Terry of him stealing his diary, and that triggered a chain reaction of events that left Terry as a low profile legal clerk while VJ's life continued on for him to ultimately became a multimillionaire hedge fund manager. Now, Vernon James is on trial for murder, and Terry just happens to be part his legal staff.

Terry Flynt is very whiney with a victim complex a mile wide. He complains incessantly about how Vernon did him wrong. How much he hates Vernon. How he can't believe he is trying so hard to help Vernon. Good lord, can he please just shut up about VJ? I get it. You are mad that VJ did you wrong and now VJ is rich and you aren't. He calls him his worst enemy, yet VJ likely has given him 5 minutes of thought since parting ways.

The I-hate-VJ thread was laced throughout the entire story, and it was not even a very compelling thread. That's my main complaint of this book. My other complaints is the story taking 2 sharp turns to the left. The legal firm itself that Terry works at has a sketchy background. I got to learn all about that nonsense. Then I got to learn the long backstory of the investigator helping Terry. Summary of that plotline: I don't care. Then for whatever reason, as if the story is not confusing enough, the author decided to toss in some Israeli assassins and London riots. Why? Who knows.

I did not enjoy the characters. I did not like the long side plots. The main crux, 2 childhood friends with one very bitter assigned to help the former, was only mildly interesting to me. This book would've been a lot better if a solid third of it was chopped away and the main character's maturity level raised above age 14.

The only reason this book got a 3 is because it was just interesting enough to make me stick to it long enough to get the final verdict.

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